MEXICO CITY (CNS) — The archbishop of Acapulco called on organized crime to cease violence during Holy Week, when thousands of Mexicans descend on the seaside city for the Easter holidays.
“I am making a call to those causing violence that, if they are men of their word, they honor a truce during the entire period” of Holy Week, Archbishop Carlos Garfias Merlos of Acapulco told reporters March 13.
“Everyone, those that live in Guerrero (state) in Acapulco, including those causing this violence, all of us are aware of the importance that the tourist season has in Acapulco,” he said.
Acapulco, once fabled for nightlife and visiting Hollywood stars, has become notorious for crime and killings, which have increasingly crept into the tourist parts of the city — not just the periphery populated by maids, gardeners and others working in the tourist industry.
It draws few foreigners now, but still attracts tourists from Mexico City — five hours up the highway — especially during the Holy Week holidays, when Mexicans traditionally take holidays and public schools close for two weeks.
A nongovernment think tank, the Citizen Council for Security, ranked Acapulco third-most dangerous city in the world with a homicide rate of 104 per 100,000 residents — roughly five times the Mexican average. Merchants expressed such exacerbation with extortion payments that they demanded tax relief, saying they already paid informally to criminal groups, the newspaper Reforma reported.
The Archdiocese of Acapulco has put a priority on promoting peace and providing attention to victims of violence through a pilot program bishops hope to replicate in other Mexican dioceses.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103